Surprising Turn of Events

Lord, I know you will never stop being merciful to me. Your love and loyalty will always keep me safe.

Psalm 40:11 (GNT)

This past weekend didn’t quite turn out the way we had planned. Originally, the plan was to meet our oldest daughter at the halfway point between Ponca City and Tulsa so we could enjoy
a weekend of spoiling the most awesome grandson ever and then return him to Tulsa on Monday, where we would enjoy some of the activities planned for the Fourth. We agreed to meet on Saturday at 10 AM. However, when I awoke Saturday morning, my left leg was very swollen and hurt intensely to move it … walking on it made me feel like I was about to pass out. In fact, through all my chemo regime (which is now complete), I never vomited until Saturday after stepping out of the shower.

As some important background, you may remember that in addition to the R-CHOP chemotherapy infusions in 21 day cycles, I was also taking an experimental chemo pill named Revlamid. This medicine has tons of warnings, but the Dr felt it was important to help ensure the cancer doesn’t return. One of the top risks associated with this medicine is the risk of blood clots. Last Wednesday was the last of the regimen with this pill. Throughout the time I used it, I had no serious or concerning side effects — until Saturday.

After running ultrasound tests, blood work, and urinalysis, the hospital was able to confirm it is a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). In layman’s terms, it means that there are blood clots blocking the flow back toward the heart. (Apparently, arteries carry blood from the heart to the various parts of the body and veins return the blood back to the heart.). The good news is that my arteries were clear (a blocked artery could prevent blood being received in the leg and cause some very serious problems very quickly — Imagine if a tourniquet was left on a leg for too long). They explained that the DVT runs the length of my left leg from the groin to below the ankle.

To help combat this, I was given a prescription  of syringes pre-filled with blood thinner.  We inject me (actually Dena does and she is really good at it) in the stomach every twelve hours for two weeks.  Once the two weeks are finished, I will be transitioned to an oral anti-coagulant, which I will need to take for at least 6 months. Along with the syringes, I received multiple reminders to be vigilant for any breathing problems as a piece may break off and travel to the lungs as a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). If you haven’t done any research on PE’s, they are scary things as they can be very dangerous.

As you might guess, this wasn’t the weekend we had planned but it served well to remind me of one of my Mom’s favorite songs. It was written by Bill Gaither and it is titled, “Through it All”. Perhaps one of the most poignant verses of the song explains, “I thank God for the mountains and I thank Him for the valleys. I thank Him for the storms He’s brought me through. For if I’d never had a problem, I’d never know He could solve them. I’d never know what faith in God could do.”

I found the lyrics on the web, it is truly a song with a message.

I personally lean to more contemporary Christian music but regardless of your styles and preferences in music, I think you will agree that it holds a strong message of comfort, peace, and helps assure us that God has a plan for us.

I also found a YouTube video of it being performed.

Many thanks to each of you for your prayers and support. I know without a doubt that without God’s mercy and grace, I would not be doing so well.  Your prayers are so important in this process and I am just awed by the quantity of support and encouragement that continues to flow forth.



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